Beijing/Moscow: – China and Russia have announced increase military cooperation. Sources in the respective countries said that the issue was discussed at a meeting between the countries’ defence ministers on Friday. The meeting, which followed a meeting of senior officials from the QUAD Group of the United States, Japan, Australia and India, is noteworthy. In view of the meeting between China and Russia, Admiral Charles A. Richard, head of the US Strategic Command, hinted that the two countries posed a strategic challenge to the United States and its allies.
The picture is that Western countries and the United States have opened a big front against both China and Russia. Western nations have imposed sanctions on China over issues of the South China Sea, trade looting, cyberattacks, Hongkong and the Coronavirus. Action is also being taken against Russia on issues such as Crimea, aggressive military deployments, Alexei Navalny and cyberattacks. China and Russia seem to be getting closer against the backdrop of these movements from the West.
In June, a ‘virtual conference’ was held between the presidents of China and Russia. At the time, Russian President Vladimir Putin had claimed that relations between the two countries had reached unprecedented heights due to the expansion of the ‘Friendship Treaty’ between Russia and China. Russia-China relations are an example of the new structure of international relations, said Chinese President Xi Jinping. Since then, extensive military exercises between the two countries have resulted in growing cooperation in the defence sector.
The exercise, dubbed ‘Zapad / Interaction-2021’ in China, involved fighter jets, helicopters and tanks, and thousands of soldiers from both countries. On the last day of the exercise, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu visited China with a military delegation. He also held talks with Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe on defence cooperation between the two countries. China and Russia have agreed to strengthen defence cooperation further, sources said. The Global Times, China’s official mouthpiece, said the exercises between China and Russia were a ‘strong message’ to the West.
Against the backdrop of this growing cooperation between Russia and China, senior US officials have warned that the two countries could pose a major challenge. Admiral Charles A. Richard, chief of the US Strategic command, clarified that this cooperation between the two countries posed a significant challenge: ‘ China is the largest navy in the world and the third-largest air force. China is greatly increasing its nuclear capabilities and conventional defence forces. China is also rapidly developing hypersonic missiles. Russia is also rapidly modernizing its conventional and nuclear capabilities, using various means to put pressure on other countries using their cyber capabilities.’